Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Sunday, April 20, 2008



It has been quiet on my blog for a while now. While there would have been lots and lots to write about, this IS a sea kayaking blog. Writing is one thing, but sharing ramblings that are of too personal nature is another.

I am now in full preparation for this season's kayaking. Next Saturday the NKB sea kayak week in Anglesey starts, followed by the Anglesey Sea Kayak Symposium.

I have been paddling... Above picture was taken at the scenic town of Marken, during the traditional "season start" trip of the Peddelpraat club to Volendam and Marken on March 15 with more than 40 paddlers; a record!

Spring, sound of a new born life
I think I’m moving on cause it’s time

(From: Seasons by Earth & Fire)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Head Winds

Last Saturday, a club trip was planned to the "Razende Bol" (translates as Raging knoll/bulb) off Den Helder. Unfortunately the wind was blowing a strong force 6. Therefore an alternative trip was found by Thierry on the nearby Amstelmeer lake. Not less windy, but a challenge nevertheless for everyone, without the risks that any sea trip would pose in these conditions. Some of us almost got more than we bargained for... Some had difficulty in keeping their kayaks pointing into the wind. I had to do a course tow for a higher volume kayak that was running 'bow-high'. Later, on the canal, some experimented with their tow-line, that, in these conditions, showed them some 'flaws'. Firstly getting ones tow-line ready only after maneuvering to make the link, sweeps the whole in-line tow down-wind with danger of entangling the whole tow, not to speak about the distance lost in the process. Secondly, one tow-line bag was trailing in the water, effectively creating a drogue that had the first tower overtake the front tower... Lastly I made the 'mistake' of hooking-up when I thought it would be only 10 minutes left to make it to the cars... Towing is very hard work against a force 6 headwind! I had a work-out. And yes, we made it to the "Razende Bol" after all, just look carefully at the pictures...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

To the Spheres

Photo by De Keukenhof.

By Fred as a colleague, it is possible that you are enthusiastic kajakvaarder is in a kayak without ever be proven wrong. By the last kanobeurs bought, used, Meridian ("a fast boat", I heard Fred say) than I was Sunday, April 17 in Sassenheim for my first real kayak trip. 20 km should not be too difficult, I thought.

Sunday, April 17, 1994
I am still awkward in the kayak and my peddeltechniek is zero comma zero. I have therefore already difficult enough for the meevarende canadees to track. After about an hour sail is the first break. I did not have to ask, but it seems to me extremely well. Then we wind against the Haarlemmertrekvaart. The cramped vaarhouding translates into 'dormant legs'. Fortunately, we run into a ditch and there is a break. Again at the right time. We are halfway through and from now on we will have wind in the back. Unfortunately I have trained vaarders advantage of more wind than I do. So should I not quite doorpeddelen too far back to hit. I snak to a break that just will not come. Part of the group goes through 'big water', but I take the ditch binnendoor wisely. After 5 hours peddelen comes my car back into sight. After disembarking step I even miss (dormant legs), so I get my first kayak adventure, in addition to blisters, still wet feet left. So now, but soon a lot of practice, so that the fast boat also quickly propelling.

P.S. Of the balls I have seen little, but sometimes kayaks and paddles that came out from the crowd.

Confused ?

My first kayak trip, now exactly 14 years ago, was through canals in the area of the Netherlands where the flower bulb fields are and the Keukenhof Spring garden fair is held. The Dutch title of my first ever kayak article was "Naar de Bollen" that translates to "To the (flower) Bulbs" and also references a traditional 1930's song by Louis Davids. I would not dare to put the lyrics of that song through the Google translator... But I could not resist trying it out on my first kayak trip report. I am a teenager now (in kayaking terms). A teenager for the second time in my life. Springtime!